‘Door to Door Love’ and the Bold Hybrid Sound of Bones

July 21, 2017 in Happenings

‘Listen to ‘Door to Door Love

I want to die. Dont want to carry on.bones_bio_4
Woman said she loved me. I turn around she’s gone.
Tell me if she loved me why’d she leave me here alone
Sellin’ my door to door love
Sellin’ with my door to door smile
Door to door love
Will I soon be stayin’ a while

– Jimmy Faragher, 1970

I recently appeared as a guest on the Dave Darin Show. Dave opened the show with ‘Door to Door Love’,
A song my band Bones had recorded in the spring of 1971 with producer Richard Perry (The track appeared
on the Bones album and as the B-side of our second single, ”Good Luck’). It was the first time I had heard
the record in a while and as it played I found myself swaying to it’s energetic and infectious groove and I was
struck by just how funky it was. Even today it sounds singular, not quite like anything else from that time… or
since, for that matter.

The recording opens with a hooky, Cropper-like guitar riff joined by a descending blues line on bass and
electric piano.The riff is repeated with drums before crescendoing with an organ flare and round the horn drum
fill into the song.   The verse maintains the soulful feel; the vocal raw and bluesy as it rides the funky groove.
The chorus, however, with its harmonized descending melody over backpedaled major chords has more of a
rock feel.  The B3 solo in the middle conjures up a smokey after-hours club. We had only recently purchased
the organ and it was my chance to step out a bit on the new axe. The solo is followed by a breakdown back into the
guitar riff, a second verse and chorus and a long fade on a relentlessly groovin’ vamp. All in all, the record
is a true and genuine hybrid.

The song’s lyrics are straight ahead and genuine. ‘Door to Door Love.’ The words of the title and refrain aloneBones cover
pack a punch. No need for an overly clever extended metaphor here. When Jimmy wrote the song he had just
come out of a break-up. As for me, I was in denial about my marriage. My wife and I were living separately at
the time but clung desperately to the false hope that we could stay together. I was lonely and fearful of what lay
ahead and, more and more, music was becoming my solace, my lover.

Smitten with the sound of Wilson Pickett’s voice, I had been working on developing an edgier singing style for a
while. I had discovered that soul shouting was a great release for my pent up energy;  a cathartic antedote for all
the pain, fear, and loneliness. Jimmy suggested that I sing the tune. I was delighted. I thought the song was a good
vehicle. We may have worked up the track first with Jimmy singing lead for it is in his key. That I was singing above
my range probably just added to the raw emotion. If I were to sing the song now I would probably smooth it out a
bit. But, hey! I was a hungery twenty-three year old giving it everything I had.

The song was born during a remarkably creative period for the band. In the summer of 1970 we had moved
north to rent a place in Marin County. It was a funky old house in San Geronimo called “The Creamery” by the
locals. It sat near a creek, at the foot of a wooded hill. The house itself was dark, dingy, and dirty, with leaky
plumbing, and no hot water. To our eyes, though, it was Hippie Paradise. We hiked through the woods, took
cold showers outside, ate health food, visited with the Hippie squatters who lived in the woods, and practiced,
practiced, practiced.bones_bio_3

We never tried to copy but rather just let things happen organically. These R&B sounds began to work their way into
our music. It was ironic that in cloistering ourselves in the woods we would end up adding an urban edge to our music.
This became part of an eclectic creative arsenal. We could rock, we could groove, and we were still capable of serving
up a haunting and unplugged ballad like ‘Harmony’.
Bones was:
Jimmy Faragher – bass, lead vocal, bg vocals, and saxes
Danny Faragher – keyboards lead vocal, bg vocals, harmonica, trombone and trumpet
Greg Tornquist  – guitar, harmonica, bg vocals
Casey Cunningham – drums